Rare Earth Minerals Plc (LON:REM) has this morning announced the mobilisation of a second drilling rig to site and also provides an update on the drilling programme currently being undertaken as part of the pre-feasibility study (“PFS”) at the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico.
A total of nine holes (totaling 1,850 metres) have been completed of the currently planned 18 hole drilling programme (approximately 4,000 metres). As a result of the Company’s recent agreement with Tesla Motors, a second rig has been mobilised to site to increase the speed of drilling, with the intention to complete the remaining holes in September 2015.
Analyses received from the first four holes from the Fleur concession indicate that weighted averages for lithium content in the Upper Clay is 1,862 ppm Li over 24.15 metres in thickness and the Lower Clay averages 4,871 ppm Li over 24.15 metres. The thickness in metres and grades of the significant lithium intersections are shown in Table 1 as follows:
Table 1: Significant Lithium drilling intersections – Sonora Lithium Project (Fleur Concession)
Note: N/D means not detected
* LCE = lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) Equivalent: determined by multiplying Li value in percent by 5.324 to get an equivalent Li2CO3 value in percent. Use of LCE is to provide data comparable with industry reports and assumes complete conversion of lithium in clays with no recovery or process losses.
The programme is primarily focused on significantly increasing the Indicated Mineral Resources within the Sonora Lithium Project, as well as testing whether the high grades and near surface mineralisation identified at the La Ventana concession continue into the northern area of the Fleur concession, which immediately adjoins La Ventana to the south. The Company’s resource was recently updated by SRK Consulting (UK) Limited (“SRK”) to:
· Indicated resources of 1.14 million tonnes (“Mt”) lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”) contained in 95Mt of clay, at lithium (“Li”) grade of 2,200 ppm
· Inferred resources of 6.3Mt LCE contained in 500 Mt of clay at a Li grade of 2,300 ppm
For further details, investors are encouraged to reference the Company’s press releases dated May 13 and June 26, 2015 and/or the SRK’s report that was filed on May 13, 2015 and is accessible on the Company’s website.
Upon completion of the drill programme and assaying, SRK will deliver an updated resource model for mine design purposes, with an initial focus on the higher grade, open pit resources on the La Ventana and Fleur concessions.
The pre-feasibility study (“PFS”) for the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico is ongoing, with metallurgical testwork, mine design and process engineering proceeding according to schedule and due to be reported in Q1, 2016.
Details of REM’s ownership of the Sonora Lithium Project:
Rare Earth Minerals Plc owns a direct interest of 16.4% in Bacanora, and through that holds an indirect interest in the La Ventana asset of 16.4%. In addition to the 16.4% in Bacanora, when aggregated with REM’s 30% direct interest in Megalit S.A de CV (the company holding the Buenavista, Megalit and San Gabriel concessions) and the 30% direct interest in Mexalit S.A de CV (the company holding El Sauz, El Sauz 1, El Sauz 2, Fleur and Fleur 1 concessions), results in a total economic interest in each of these companies of Megalit S.A. de CV and Mexalit S.A. de CV of 41.47%.